Breaking the Vicious Circle of Insomnia

A Treatment Model
  • Neil Steinberg
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


Intense psychological pain and a major disruption of daily life invariably accompany chronic insomnia. These patients feel an urgent need for help. Fear and anger, in response to not controlling sleep, often lead to feelings of powerlessness, despair, and increasing frustration. Unfortunately, these emotional reactions are instrumental in transforming transient insomnia into chronic insomnia. Emotional stress occasionally brings transient sleeplessness to almost everyone; however, an intense emotional reaction to sleeplessness combines with conditioning or learning patterns to perpetuate temporary sleeplessness into agonizing and life-disruptive chronic insomnia.


Vicious Circle Emotional Upset Physiological Arousal Sleep Hygiene Psychotherapeutic Intervention 
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Recommended Readings

  1. Coates, T. J., Thoresen, C. E. (1977). How to sleep better: A drug free program for overcoming insomnia. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Behavioral management approaches for sleeplessness are presented clearly and thoroughly.Google Scholar
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  3. Mason, L. J. (1985). Guide to stress reduction. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts Publishers. The mind—body relaxation techniques applied to insomnia treatment are fully discussed and described.Google Scholar


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Steinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Sleep ServicesSanta RosaUSA

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